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Ahannahpercent 

Hannah stood alone at the front, radiating a smile. Beautifully framed she stood still, the air around her almost bright and airy. The memories and stories that friends and family shared about her, joined together into an encouraging melody. And as the stories swelled around her, it was as if her smile grew even larger.
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It was late afternoon, the sun was settling for the day. Its rays were long and colorful, and radiated with such beauty. That the posing and the click of the shutter were almost distractions from the creativity of the golden hour. When Hannah had asked me to photograph her for her graduation, it took me longer than usual to get back to her. I almost said no.

Photography was no longer just a passion, it was (and is) my vocation. So I had started saying no when people asked me to take photographs. The feeble excuses that it would add to my portfolio or would just take few minutes were falling flat. And yet, I found myself in Point Loma that day taking graduation photographs. My thank you for my efforts, a dirty chai, was sitting on an uneven stump slowly melting. I’m not sure why I said yes that day, but this story is not about that answer.

This is the story of a photograph worth taking. I’m so glad I agreed to photograph Hannah that day. It has been almost a year since I walked up to her portrait. My hand reaching into my suit pocket for my handkerchief wiping away the tears forming in the corner of my eye. Hannah was no longer with us, but her memory encourages me to this day. Little did I know, that a photograph from that graduation photo session would end up in front of the sanctuary for her graduation to heaven. That her smile would embody the stories shared then and even now.

Hannah’s family coined the word Ahannahpercent to embody her memory. If you know the Diaso family, you know that it is impossible to feel unwelcome in their home. Hannah was the sum of that welcoming grace. She always had a bright smile and a warm welcome. She cared for you and lived fully present in the moment. While it can be so easy to go through the motions, to say hello without being genuine or to offer a smile that is not caring. That is not living life Ahannahpercent. 

She is an encouragement to me as a I photograph wedding days. A reminder to be fully present and invested in the stories I am documenting. If I can be unashamedly excited and genuinely thrilled by the details of the day. I am photographing Ahannahpercent. It calls for going beyond platitudes and genuinely caring for people. One of Hannah’s good friends shares it best. I’ll let Susanna take it from here.

I’m a Fiancé! Huntington Library Proposal

Have you ever buried your nose in a boquet of roses hoping that the wonderous fragerence would assult your senses and carry you away far far away where once upon a time comes true? Wandering through the gardens of the Huntington Library, you can’t help but belive in the fairy tales. The birds were singing, and the smell of love (umm roses) was in the air. If you have ever found yourself in Bath and Body works, and had your sense of smell assulted. This rose garden is the aroma that they try (and IMHO) fail to recreate.

It is in this wonderland, that we find Miko.  A ring box silently moving from hand to pocket, as he patiently waits. His girlfriend was wandering the gardens, completely unware that her boyfriend was there or of the question on his lips. Her bestfriend was slowing directing her steps toward the best kind of surprises.  In typical Kate fashion, she had refused suggestions of what to wear. And made this adventure her own. Flip the page (um, scroll down) and follow along as Kate & Miko’s story unfolds before your eyes.

Huntington Gardens ProposalHuntington Library Proposal Huntington Library Proposal Huntington Library Proposal

Saying YES to Each Other

If only fools rush in, I want to be a fool for you. 

Weddings are intenese, there is a tremendous amount of planing that goes into pulling off the perfect day. In the midst of all the work, of planning your wedding, don’t forget your WHY..

Your wedding day, is you chooisng each other.

Your wedding day is you saying YES to each other in front of freinds and family.

Your wedding day is about love.

 

Best Day Ever

I love you too much…

At yesterdays wedding, I posted a picture of the dessert table. Standing proudly above the assortment of delicous sweets, in big gold letters were the words, BEST DAY EVER. As I uploaded the picture to Instagram, I asked my followers to describe their best dav ever in three words. But try as I might, I couldn’t find a best day ever. (maybe because I’m still singel…)  No single day shone over the rest. Was it the moment I switched the tassel on my gradition cap? or was it swimming in waves of the Pacific as a tropical thunderstorm sent a gentle rain over the waves? or perhaps it was baking christmas goodies with my family?

I couldn’t decide, and you know what? I’m ok with that. My best days, are the simple days. The days with the soft sounds of music mingling with the voices of the ones I love. Carefree days, where life is lived: simply and completely.

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As they danced arm in arm, under the clear blue sky, among the apple trees, through the sparse grass. I love you too much, were the words softly wafting from the speaker on my iphone. Though the needle on the thermometer was closer to 1oo, than wanted. It was a perfect day.

Brittany and David were visiting home, and we were taking engagement photographs. But more than that we were living life. I didn’t want the focus to be on posing them. The focus wasn’t where their arms were, or what angle their heads were tilted. They were in love, and by the end of the session I wanted to remind them why they were saying YES to each other.

That didn’t mean we didn’t capture photographs, it meant that the photographs were taken to remember their WHY. Glimpses of joy and happiness, the photographs, were meant to bring smiles and to make memories.